Brad Bune was just starting out with his Challenge Targets (CT) company when we first met. What was unusual was that some of Brad’s steel target designs included a pendulum base which reset the target after hitting. Brad even developed a challenging target (now you know where the name comes from…) which allows the instructor to move the bad guy and/or a hostage target back and forth. This type of system increases difficulty and makes one of the four R’s – realism possible on the range. Think about it, without a very expensive moving target system you can move the target in and out of a possible shooting angle requiring the shooter to move and find a good shot. Revolutionary, a target and an officer both moving during an event rather than standing in one spot and not moving.
This summer I had the opportunity to train armed school personnel while using a line of Challenge Target’s TDI plates. From 30 feet outward we used these excellent metal targets which are rated up to rifle fire. Shooting on steel reduces downtime associated with stopping a line and stapling up new paper, they also give the shooter and instructor immediate and satisfying feedback. Stay on the sights as you smoothly press the trigger and don’t lift your head off the gun to see your hit and voila! you hit. This is very reassuring to shooters because they once again get to see and hear the results of the proper application of the basics versus having no idea how they are doing until later when the target is inspected. A simple can of spray paint can last a whole day for a line of shooters to cover previous hits on steel.
Recently I was doing a carbine evaluation and was struggling with a new back-up iron sight design. Heading to my local range I carried the Challenge Target TDI steel target, the company’s Pivot Base which can be set to allow the target to fall after hitting, as well as Brad’s new Target Holder Accessory. The Target Holder slides into the CT Base allowing two furring strip uprights to be affixed. I could then staple a piece of cardboard and the carbine zero targets I was using. After sighting in at 25 yards for a 100 yard zero, I pulled the Target Holder out and dropped the TDI steel silhouette in the base. Next up was the satisfying clanging of steel from 100 yards out.
The four R’s are the ABC’s of police firearms training. We need the time and the rounds downrange to properly prepare our troops, not engage in worthless activities like qual courses (which are nothing more than displays of minimum performance standards) as our only training.
Having the right targets makes a huge difference. The card stock paper targets from Targets Online and the metal ones from Challenge Targets advances the craft and our students to meet and defeat real world threats against them and that my friends is the ultimate goal.